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Full text of "My Country And My People"

LITERARY    LIFE                        213

"notebooks," containing a wilderness of promiscuous, un-
shifted, unscrutinized and unclassified data on all phenomena
of the universe, with a preference for the weird and the super-
natural. In popular bookshops the novels are also included in
this division. The Collected Works Division may be called the
Literature Division, because it includes the collected works of
scholars, literary criticism, and special collections of poetry and
drama.

The array of sciences is more imposing than an examination
of their contents would show. Actually, there are no special
sciences in China, outside the serious sciences of classic philology
and history, which are truly branches of exact classified know-
ledge, and which provide fields for painstaking research.
Astronomy, apart from the works of Jesuit disciples, is very
near astrology, and zoology and botany are very near cuisine,
since so many of the animals and fruits and vegetables are
eatable. Medicine usually occupies the same shelf in ordinary
book stores as necromancy and fortune-telling. Psychology,
sociology, engineering, and political economy are hidden all
over among the notebooks, and writers whose books get into
the classification of botany and zoology in the Philosophy
Division or ^Miscellaneous Records in the History Division
achieve that distinction by the more specialized nature of their
notes, but, with the exception of oustanding works, do not
essentially depart from the notebooks in the Literature Division
in spirit and technique.

Chinese scholars have briefly three lines in which to develop
their peculiar genius: real scholarly research, political candi-
dacy, and literature in the classical sense, and we may accord-
ingly classify Chinese scholars into the three types, scholars,
the gentry, and writers. The training for the scholar and the
candidate of official examinations is so different that there must
be an early choice between the two. There was a chujen, or
candidate of the second rank, who had never heard of
Kungyangchuan, one of the "Thirteen Confucian Classics'* and
there were many learned scholars who for their life could not
have written an "eight-legged essay** to pass the official
examinations.

But the spirit of old Chinese scholarship was admirable. The